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Comment Re:Don't like bats? (Score 2) 115

The Bat
By Frank Jacobs

Bats are creepy; bats are scary;
Bats do not seem sanitary;
Bats in dismal caves keep cozy;
Bats remind us of Lugosi;
Bats have webby wings that fold up;
Bats from ceilings hang down rolled up;
Bats when flying undismayed are;
Bats are careful; bats use radar;
Bats at nighttime at their best are;
Bats by Batman unimpressed are!

I first read this poem in an ancient (c1972) Mad Magazine anthology, and have loved it ever since. At last! An opportunity to share it!

Comment I won't attend the laying in state, but I approve. (Score 2, Insightful) 1105

He did not believe the Constitution was a living document to be interpreted with the evolving standards of modern times. And he was wrong. Then again, he pretty much made whatever argument that served his desired outcome, even if the argument contradicted his earlier opinions.

Comment Re:metric you insensitive clod! (Score 1) 403

No, what I really care about is how far I can go with the gas that's in the tank. I have a mpg readout on the dash, which, contrary to the assertion below, is in fact accurate within a percent and tends to understate it. I reset the trip odometer at every fill up. So I see that I have gone 412 miles and I've been getting 36mpg. I then ask Siri what 36 x 12 (the capacity of my gas tank) is, and she says 432, and I then know whether to get gas at the next exit. How often do I ask myself, "how much fuel to get n miles?" Seldom, as in seldom do I know exactly how far I'll be going. But when I do know how far and want to how much gas I'm going to use, it is one easy calculation to divide the trip length by the mpg. And liters per 100K? How arbitrary is that? Why isn't it 1000K, or 10K, or 3.14159K?

Submission + - Portable Router That Conceals Internet Traffic Revealed at Def Con

An anonymous reader writes: Ryan Lackey of CloudFlare and Marc Rogers of Lookout revealed a new OPSEC device at Def Con called PORTAL (Personal Onion Router to Assure Liberty). It "provides always-on Tor routing, as well as 'pluggable' transport for Tor that can hide the service's traffic signature from some deep packet inspection systems." In essence, PORTAL is a travel router that the user simply plugs into their existing device for more than basic Tor protection (counterpoint to PogoPlug Safeplug and Onion Pi). On the down side, you have to download PORTAL from Github and flash it "onto a TP-Link compatible packet router." The guys behind the device acknowledge that not many people may want to (or even know how to) do that, so they're asking everyone to standby because a solution is pending.

Submission + - Stem cell research breakthrough from transparent fish 1

brindafella writes: Australian scientists have accidentally made one of the most significant discoveries in stem cell research, by studying the transparent embryos of Zebrafish (Danio rerio). The fish can be photographed and their development studied over time, and the movies can be played backwards, to track back from key developmental stages to find the stem cell basis for various traits of the fish. This fundamental research started by studying muscles, but the blood stem cell breakthrough was a bonus. They've found out how hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), among the most important stem cells found in blood and bone marrow, is formed. The scientishs are based at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University. The research has been published in the Nature medical journal. This discovery could lead to the production of self-renewing stem cells in the lab to treat multiple blood disorders and diseases.

Submission + - Cisco to slash up to 6,000 jobs (8% of workforce) (

alphadogg writes: Cisco Systems will cut as many as 6,000 jobs over the next 12 months, saying it needs to shift resources to growing businesses such as cloud, software and security. The move will be a reorganization rather than a net reduction, the company said. It needs to cut jobs because the product categories where it sees the strongest growth, such as security, require special skills, so it needs to make room for workers in those areas, it said. “If we don’t have the courage to change, if we don’t lead the change, we will be left behind,” Chairman and CEO John Chambers said on a conference call.

Submission + - Origin of mummies pushed back 1500 years (

sciencehabit writes: New evidence pushes back the origin of mummification in ancient Egypt by 1500 years. The scientists examined funeral wrappings excavated from pit graves in the earliest recorded cemeteries, dating to between 4500 and 3350 B.C.E., in the Badari region in Upper Egypt. Using biochemical analysis, the team identified complex embalming agents on the linen wrappings, pictured above, made from ingredients such as pine resin, gum, aromatic plant extract, and natural petroleum. The researchers say recipes using the same ingredients in similar proportions would eventually produce the more well-known mummies at the height of the Pharaonic period, some 3000 years later.

Comment Yet another redundant, useless law (Score 5, Informative) 618

This idiot congress critter has absolutely no idea how EPA regulations get written.

"Public policy should come from public data, not based on the whims of far-left environmental groups," says Schweikert.

He assumes the regulations get written the same way financial industry and other regulations get written, by think tanksand lobbyists (ALEC anyone?). My sister, an environmental engineer spends a great amount of time in the field collecting samples and then coming back to the lab and documenting the science that goes into developing regulations for the EPA.

"For far too long, the EPA has approved regulations that have placed a crippling financial burden on economic growth in this country with no public evidence to justify their actions."

Which is pure, verifiable bullshit. His agenda couldn't be more plain. Like laws introduced to prohibit public funding of abortions, which is already prohibited, it's more about grandstanding and politics than anything having to do with transparency, economics, or in absolutely last place, the environment.

Submission + - Atlanta Gambled with Winter Storm and Lost

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: Kim Severson reports at the NYT that by keeping schools and government offices open, and by not requiring tractor-trailers to use chains or stay out of the city’s core, metropolitan Atlanta gambled and lost. “We don’t want to be accused of crying wolf,” said Gov. Nathan Deal, who pointed out that the storm had been forecast to just brush the south side of the city. If the city had been closed and the storm had been as light as some forecasters had told him it was going to be, he said, money would have been lost, and people would have complained. Tuesday's snowfall, that brought only 2-3 inches of snow to most of the Atlanta metro area, and the hundreds of thousands of motorists who flooded the metropolitan area's roadways as the storm moved in — created travel nightmares for commuters, truckers, students and their families. Some commuters were stuck in their vehicles up to 18 hours after they first hit the roads. Others abandoned their cars in or beside the road. Hundreds of students spent the night at school. Some surrounding cities, including Hiram, Woodstock, Sandy Springs and Acworth, opened emergency shelters for stranded motorists. "It's an easy joke made by Northerners," wrote Joe Sterling and Sarah Aarthun. "A dusting of snow shuts down an entire city and hapless drivers white-knuckle their way through a handful of flurries." Further North streets are salted well in advance of a coming storm but Atlanta doesn't have the capacity for that kind of treatment. "We simply have never purchased the amount of equipment necessary," said meteorologist Chad Myers adding Atlanta had plenty of warning. "Why would you in a city that gets one snow event every three years? Why would you buy 500 snowplows and salt trucks and have them sit around for 1,000 days, waiting for the next event?"

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